Discoloration on the exterior shell can be an indication that there has been structural damage. Photo courtesy of Mike Tilford.
For example, just because a particular cordage has the correct rating and diameter does not mean that it is fit to handle the heat incurred from use as a friction hitch.
The best way to check if products are fit for the intended purpose is to check doc- umentation accompanying the equip- ment. In the absence of a technical no- tice or user instructions, immediately look for a manufacturer’s website with documentation on the device. If you can- not find any information on a device or component, it is best not to use it. PPE INSPECTION Next up, it is time to inspect. Head protection . A visual and tactile inspection should expose any defects that could affect the performance of this piece of PPE. Is the shell cracked, fractured or showing signs of signifi- cant impact? A more thorough inspec- tion can be done with suspension-style helmets than the foam style. For exam- ple, it is easy to see discoloration on the inner shell when there has been a significant impact on the outer shell on a brightly colored helmet. When in doubt, check the manufacturer’s prod- uct documentation for suggested caus- es for retirement of a helmet. Harnesses. There are so many won- derful types of harnesses, and they used to be so simple. The materials used to be steel, leather and canvas, making them easy to understand and inspect. Now there are harnesses made with aluminum and synthetic materi-
Is the working load limit sufficient for the work to be done? Additional- ly, ask yourself if it is compatible with other components. Copycat equipment that can easily be ordered online is an alarming, rising issue. These products look like they are made by a reputable manufacturer, but reveal subpar quali- ty on closer inspection. SavATree District Skills & Safety Trainer Joe Pomeisl performing a pre-climb inspection. Photo courtesy of Mike Tilford.
Most PPE conversation is centered around head, eye and hearing protection, chain saw chaps or pants, Hi-Viz clothing and sometimes boots. Photo courtesy of Arborwear.
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